As someone engaged in industrial marketing and PR for 20 years I am always concerned about the serious shortage of engineers and technicians in our nation and the condition of our manufacturing industry. The latest news is not all that encouraging.

The Australian Industry Group’s monthly Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) survey showed a score of 45.6 for February. This was higher than January (40.2) but anything less than 50 means the market is contracting. Shrinking. Tragically, we’ve had 12 consecutive months of contraction.

AIG says despite low official interest rates the conditions in manufacturing remain very testing with businesses delaying investment in machinery and equipment.